From Abraham to David the Israelites were looking for the Promised Land which they ultimately conquered. After David they hoped for a better king than him. The promises made to Solomon were not understood as the coming of the Messiah. They depended on books and the history of Israel as told and retold by their elders and followed the prescribed rituals and norms of religion. But they had no direct experience of God and thus could not speak in His name. But God raised Isaiah who did have such a living experience (Isaiah 6).
In the turbulent history of Israel, God preserved a small insignificant people to take shape and a ‘remnant’ appears to take root. As a pyramid is reduced to a point so is this remnant till it became one man the Saviour – the shoot of Yahweh. Isaiah is the first to announce the Messiah. He will be greater than David or his successors. He will be Immanuel and the Spirit will dwell permanently in Him demonstrating his gifts.
Paradoxically, the image of the stump is used. A tree in full bloom meant happiness while a stump evokes catastrophe. The Messiah comes through poverty and suffering and will be persecuted from birth. But Isaiah predicts a period of a new creation with no hostility or fear and all beings will live harmoniously. To make this dream a reality, God chooses to use ‘the remnant’ a people dedicated to be His disciples, to search for his vision and dreams for a future. We see our Lord Jesus in the Gospel full of joy in the Spirit, speaking to His disciples – once described as a bunch of nobodies but in the eyes of God precious ‘little ones’. What is revealed to them is but the mysterious power of the Gospel to transform people and to reveal the truth. Humble believers have everything if they have Jesus because everything has been given to Him by the Father. It is our Lord Jesus who reveals the Father to those who accept Him. This revelation is not achieved by human wisdom or knowledge but with a personal heart-to-heart encounter with our Lord Jesus.
Prayer: Abba Father may your Holy Spirit, melt us, mold us, fill us and use us to accomplish your will. Amen